"Our hearts and our thoughts are so deeply with you and with everybody of the Gulf Coast," Cindy McCain told the group.
The wife of Republican presidential candidate John Mccain then introduced the country's first lady, and a weary-with-worry crowd responded.
"I know that you all are the ones who are most worried, who are looking back home, just hoping against hope that the damage won't be that much," Mrs. Bush said.
The first lady also pointed out a family that had used the McCain campaign's offer of a free ride from the hurricane zone to join loved ones at the convention.
"We didn't know how we were going to do it, but moment by moment we waited, and McCain came through," Louisiana delegate Vicki Davis.
Later, as it became clear that perhaps Hurricane Gustav would not cause the outrageous damage Hurricane Katrina caused three years ago, the convention mood at a Young Republicans event lifted somewhat, enough at least for some members of the Louisiana delegation to breathe easy.
"We're from New Orleans. We like to party. I think the Louisiana delegation understood why they suspended things, but we do this all the time. We have hurricane parties. Hopefully, we can get back to a little bit of celebration," said Audra Shay, a Louisiana delegate.
Still, at least eight delegates from Louisiana have returned home.